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I always thought it would be neat to have your own "Spy" Satellite. The fact that we have our own Spy Satellites traveling around the earth just amazes me. So why not have your own? The following instructable shows you how to do just that, build your own Spy Satellite. This is Vs. 1. Oh, and did I mention this is a  "Green" project via recycling old parts? More to come on that.

The Satellite features the following:
  • A wireless camera that can transmit video/audio up to 300ft!
  • Sun tracking garden variety solar panels to recharge is batteries. 
  • Thruster to simulate a burn to position itself in the correct orbit.
  • Speaker for wake up and sleep procedures to conserve power.

Ready to build your own? Well here is how.



 
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Step 1: Finding an enclosure

First thing you need to do is a find a suitable enclosure. I found mine at Goodwill, great place for project parts hunting. I found this great lamp that was missing the base that had everything I was looking for. The flexible neck once removed made a great hole to attached a thruster. The hole for the power cable was perfect for a programming port. And the hole for the on/off switch was a perfect fit for my wireless camera. The odds of you finding this same setup are slim so keep your mind open when looking for an enclosure. Look at things a different way, from different angles. Don't look at things for what they are but for what they could be. Do this and you'll find an enclosure in no time, or you can just build you own. ;-) Take a look at the lamp light cover. Looks like a great rocket or thruster huh?


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Sir where this satellite launch means in LEO, MEO or GEO and whats the height of the satellite from the surface of earth.

And plz give your email id for further discussion and launch of the sat

I did some basic research on what sort of requirements there are to launch a satellite into space and if you could figure out a way to seal this against the vacuum and heat the interior above freezing, you'd be able to send this up on the next flight. You'd also need a way to transmit the images captured farther than the 300 feet. Finally, you'd need a way to maintain the orbit that it's in. I figure for this, a couple of cigar tube cannisters of CO2 gas and a RCS array.

Anyhow, that's my two cents...
Putting something in orbit is a lot more involved than that. Electronics in general tolerate low temperatures quite well despite official specifications saying otherwise. There is no need to pressurize it.

The electronics would have to go through a number of tests to see if they're safe for launch. The shake test has destroyed many a board. It's not a trivial task but not overly difficult to design and construct boards that will survive the physical tests for launch tolerance.

The most challenging problem in space is two types of radiation effects which are explained a bit in the link here.
http://klabs.org/DEI/References/design_guidelines/design_series/1258jsc.pdf

That's just an electronic board in space.  When you start talking attitude control and vectoring with thrust the requirements go to a whole new level.  If you have the money it's pretty easy to build a Cubesat from a kit and put it in orbit.  They can't have any type of propellent on board, but they can have attitude control to direct cameras.

No one would launch this, but there's no such restrictions on high altitude balloons...
Mike63 brjasper5 months ago

Actually you might want to read up here on high altitude balloons, but since it has been 2 years since you posted this maybe you've seen it, but at least others can read it now. http://www.faa.gov/aircraft/air_cert/design_approvals/balloons/balloons_regs/

Honestly I have to say I want to build my own space satellite. If I were to build a satellite what should the satellite be built to withstand. I can't find anywhere what the satellite requirements should be. Can anybody help me.

is it easy to make this satellite
Good sir,
Does the thruster head have to look exactly the same? Or could it be something like this:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/BaByliss-For-Men-7630CU-Mini/dp/B004IO2YKS/ref=sr_1_22?ie=UTF8&qid=1380377134&sr=8-22&keywords=babyliss+nose+hair+trimmer+heads

I'm was also curious about the audio bit, I've found the piezo element, but at risk of sounding stupid: What is the actual audio piece we're using? Piezo elements on amazon only look like an enlarged metal washer, yours looks totally different. Also: finding it hard to find a small enough wireless camera. Could you link me to one on ebay/amazon please?
Thanks very much, Solomon.
SpectrHz1 year ago
Saw this a mini Maker faire :)
awsure1 year ago
I'm wondering how much it weighs, also where does it transmit the images to/ is it controllable or completely automated?
Omg, try adding real rockets to the thrusters
(just an idea, though)
pbecker83 (author)  PINKmonster3253 years ago
LOL, Ill keep it in mind. ;-)
get some of those solid rocket engines made for 2 feet-ish tall model rockets.
Wow, this is awesome, seriously, this is pretty freaking sweet. The shiny metal casing was great use, and that nose trimmer for the thruster was ingenious! Great job, looks so good, and clean!
Thanks! I really appreciate the positive feedback. :-) . I have some more plans up my sleeves so be on the look out for other hopefully great projects. Thanks again!
pbecker83 (author) 3 years ago
Woo Hoo! First place! Thanks to everyone who voted, rated, and to all the other participants. Special thanks to the folks at Celestron for the great prizes and instructables for hosting. Look for more projects in the future. Thanks again, I had a blast. Patrick
fazgard3 years ago
Very cool, looks like you had fun building it too ..
pbecker83 (author)  fazgard3 years ago
Thanks fazgard! Of course I had fun ;-) although frustrating at times. It can be difficult to build things from scratch but you gotta keep at and you will prevail. One thing I go off of is the KISS ( "Keep It Simple Stupid") principal. You don't have to reinvent the wheel, just make it work.
You're welcome, and I've got to say that one of my favorite parts is the research that went into finding the correct thruster!
pbecker83 (author)  fazgard3 years ago
I just kept my eyes and mind open. Ill sometimes just roam through the aisles of Lowes, Harbor Freight, etc looking for something. Sometimes it where you never think to look where you find exactly what your looking for.
Lyron3 years ago
Very nice!

You should make more and sell them as a toy, i think theyre truly fascinating!
pbecker83 (author)  Lyron3 years ago
Thanks Lyron. Appreciate the comment. I always wanted to become a toy maker.
me to
pbecker83 (author)  The nerdling3 years ago
Awesome!
i know now i am going to open a hobby shop and i am 14
Nice work, if you cant get a bulb shape use the round ball from the old toilet float, back in 1957 that with four old transistor radio aerials won the science award for looking like sputnik 1 (oldandeasy)
pbecker83 (author)  stephenfitton3 years ago
Good idea stephenfitton. I recently visited the "Cosmosphere" in Hutchinson, KS and they had a Sputnik backup unit on display. Very cool and great to draw inspiration from. I actually wanted to implement the original Sputnik sounds into the project. Also a possible Vs 2.0 upgrade.
Sputnik sounds, sounded like an off-key morse transmitter with fade in and fade out as it passed overhead. For the correct sounds go back into newsreel achives of the times, record onto a loop,then you can play back. I believe the V2 model had an attached solar cell,that is a guess at this time. I am sure if you contact the Russian university system it would now be freely available.
P.S.to all you home inventors, a 13 year old kid built a 6Ft 6inch rocket that flew 55 miles verticle before the gvt could get past 50miles see Movie(october Sky)
pbecker83 (author) 3 years ago
Thanks for everyone's votes and support on this project! Wish me luck!
Why would you name it after a LIBRAL
pbecker83 (author)  MACKattacksnipe3 years ago
LOL. The decision was merely appearance based, not political based.
Though I know it's not politically-based. If it were, however, it might be because Obama passed acts that allow the Federal Government to go creeper on Internet users. With this set of laws, he can bypass your privacy policy on FaceBook or MySpace in order to search for possible "threats" or "information". I like to call that set of laws "The Paranoia Act".
Wazzupdoc3 years ago
I like the project, but don't seem to get the link to the code. The *.bas links to a *.tmp file for me. Any suggestions?
pbecker83 (author)  Wazzupdoc3 years ago
Interesting. Happens to me too. I uploaded it again. Download it and change the file extension to .bas or .txt or even .doc and that should get you going.
frikkie3 years ago
freaken awesome!
Treknology3 years ago
Great little project, and I love the recycling aspect.
pbecker83 (author)  Treknology3 years ago
Thanks Treknology, I love recycling old parts. Plus it save you lots of money unless you buy in bulk. Not very many parts were new on this project, and the ones that where where parted out and what was not used recycled.
Wasagi3 years ago
Amazing. I anticipate these in these to be floating around Earth in the thousands before this decade is through ;)
bowmaster3 years ago
This is cool. Now I wanna make a dummy satilite, make it look burnt and damaged, then tell people it chrashed in my backyard.
pbecker83 (author)  bowmaster3 years ago
Thanks! How cool would that be? Scale it up, dig a pit in your back yard, scatter debris, that would be awesome lol
Maybe even order some damaged solar cells and put them on, use old computer MoBos and cards, etc. Then use a blowtorch (wearing a respirator) to give the whole thing a burnt up, slightly melted look.
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